Memorable Manitobans: Richard Deans Waugh (1868-1938)
Lawyer, Mayor of Winnipeg (1912, 1915-1916).
Born at Melrose, Scotland on 23 March 1868, son of Richard Waugh and Janet Deans, brother of John Calder Waugh, James Waugh and William Waugh, he was educated at the Highfield Academy (Melrose). He came to Canada in 1881 with his parents. After spending six years in the law office of Glass and Glass, he turned to real estate, becoming a founder of the Winnipeg Real Estate Exchange and the Winnipeg Industrial Bureau.
On 21 October 1891, he married Harriet Lily Logan (?-?), daughter of ex-Mayor Logan of Winnipeg, with whom he had six children: Richard Douglas Waugh (1893-?), Alexander Logan Waugh (1895-1917), Effie Deans Waugh (1899-?), Frederick James Waugh (1902-?), Heber Edward Waugh (1904-?), and Margaret Esther Waugh (1908-1991, wife of Charles Faessler). Two of his sons served with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces; Lieutenant Alexander Waugh was killed in action in the first Cambrai engagement in 1917.
Waugh was an ardent curler who served as President of the Granite Curling Club (1905-1907) and the Manitoba Curling Association (1905-1906), and he was also Honorary President of the Winnipeg Cricket Association and Winnipeg Swimming Club. A gardening enthusiast, he created the Children’s Garden Competition in the city’s elementary schools. He was a founding member, in 1905, of the St. Charles Country Club.
He filled many prominent positions in the government of the City of Winnipeg, including Controller (1909 to 1911), member of the Winnipeg City Council, Chairman of the Parks Board (1904 to 1908), Secretary of the Board of Control, and Mayor. While mayor he championed the cause of public playgrounds. In 1920 he was appointed by the British government to the Saarland Commission, which administered the Saar area while its coal assets were taken over by the French. He resigned because he felt the arrangement, which was part of the Treaty of Versailles, was unfair. In 1930, he was elected President of the Manitoba Good Roads Association. He later served as Chairman of the Manitoba Liquor Commission.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 2116 Portage Avenue, on 20 May 1938 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery. His papers are at the Archives of Manitoba.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Waugh new head good roads body,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 February 1930, page 1.
“R. D. Waugh dies aged 70,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 May 1938, page 17.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
We thank Gord Hines and Rick Mutton for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 April 2022